Were it not for a chilling call to Alley Cat Allies, Louie would not be alive today. The black and white cat, we were told over the phone, was on death’s door at just one year of age—the result of months of deliberate starvation by his owner. Rushed to a veterinary hospital in Washington, D.C., for urgent care, he weighed only three pounds.

Just look at Louie now! Because we moved swiftly to save him from his cruel situation, he is growing up safe and healthy.

A different horror story unfolded in Oakland, California, months later. Armed with a rifle, a park employee shot 13 cats in a series of nighttime expeditions in a small urban park during October and November of 2020. He tossed their bodies in a trash can and referred to the dead cats as “party favors” to his colleagues.

Louie suffered at the hands of an individual. The Oakland cats were killed because a powerful, publicly funded institution refuses to let go of an outdated—and disproven—set of beliefs. The East Bay Regional Park District (East Bay Parks) wrongly believes that killing cats is an effective and morally acceptable way to try and protect wildlife. It is not. What it is, is cruelty.

Alley Cat Allies will always fight against cruelty, regardless of who perpetuates it. We fight for stronger anti-cruelty legislation and enforcement of laws, and we fight against institutional cruelty.

Once Louie was safe in our care, we connected with humane investigators. His abuser was prosecuted and brought to justice.

In the case of East Bay, we are tapping into every legal avenue in our quest to overturn East Bay Parks’ ongoing lethal policy. And, we are educating and mobilizing grassroots advocates to stand united against institutionalized cruelty because the voice of the people is the most powerful force for change.

We rescued this kitten, her siblings, and many more kittens from cruel, dangerous conditions. Now they’re recovering and thriving in loving homes.

Alley Cat Allies does not tolerate animal cruelty in any form, from individuals or government institutions. We know you don’t either. Our legacy together has already caused a sea of change in how society treats cats, and we won’t stop until all are protected.